Google Alerts is an online tool that allows you to monitor your presence on social media and other channels. Since its inception, however, Google has made a several changes while failing to make others, frustrating many users. Complaints have ranged from a convoluted interface, to limited capabilities of tracking one’s online presence. This has forced business owners to seek out alternatives to using Google Alerts.
A number of competitors have taken advantage of the need for a tool like Google Alerts and have created their own versions. Essentially, these companies wanted to fill the voids where Google Alerts fell short. These tools cover a wide array of online platforms and outlets, attending to users’ needs differently. No matter what you and your business are in need of, there is likely a a tool for monitoring social media monitoring that is a perfect fit for you and your business.
This post will give you 4 great alternatives to using Google Alerts to consider for your social media monitoring.
Mention is a real-time media monitoring tool that has turned itself into the largest rival of Google Alerts. Mention will notify you when someone is creating a buzz about your business on social media through text and hashtag mentions.
Both a website and an app, Mention offers features such as:
- Monitoring activity in real time: Mention monitors millions of sources from news sites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and more in 42 languages to make sure nothing gets passed you.
- Priority Folder: The app has a spam filter to make sure that the most important alerts are sent directly to you.
- React to social media accounts in just seconds: Users have the ability to respond to alerts such as ‘Retweets’ via Twitter or comments on a Facebook page without having to directly login to each account.
- Analyze statistics and detailed reports: Find out which mediums are giving you the most bang for your buck.
- Work as a team: Share alerts with your partners so that individuals can respond quickly and fluidly to alerts.
Mention is available on all devices through their online site, or via their apps for Mac, PC, Android and iOS devices. The basic Mention account is free and provides access to up to 500 results per month for up to 3 keywords. Premium plans begin at $29.99 per month, offering expanded results and keyword tracking functions.
Related: Local SEO Guide
Talkwalker enables users to monitor the different aspects of a business or market such as name, competition, brand, and more. Users will receive notifications in real time either via the web, email or RSS feed reader.
This app is geared towards larger business operations, as seen in two distinct features:
- Quantity of Sources: Out of all the media monitoring apps, Talkwalker has arguably the largest reach. This is based on their software algorithms and the number of languages it monitors. Although quantity is effective in many cases, there have been complaints that many of the alerts brought in from Talkwalker are spam.
- Price: Although Talkwalker offers a free version of its product, the next package starts at $700 per month—clearly geared towards larger businesses.
A distinct feature people like about Talkwalker alerts is that it is a streamlined, easy to use app reminiscent of the original Google Alerts search query. Users enjoy unfettered, easy access to finding keywords.
Another aspect that users like is that Talkwalker is integrated with Hootsuite, a social media management system. This gives users the ability to easily monitor topics and keywords of interest across a wide range of online platforms.
Social Mention allows users to seamlessly monitor what people are saying about them and their business. Social Mention is unique in that it is essentially a search engine for social media. It allows users to keep up with what is being said about them, their competitors, and any other relevant information by searching content from news sources, blogs, videos and more.
Social Mention uses more than 100 different platforms to search for mentions. It then curates these results by the users, hashtags, popular search queries, social engagements and many other factors.
This is a completely free product, and is great for entrepreneurs and business of any size. Because of its straightforward design, anyone can greatly benefit from Social Mention without feeling overwhelmed or bombarded by content.
IFTTT (If This, Then That)
IFTTT is a bit different from the other Google Alerts alternatives and more technically advanced. IFTTT allows users to create what they call ‘recipes’—custom programs that help you connect various social media platforms. For example, a user may setup a recipe such that whenever they are tagged in a Facebook photo, the photo is automatically downloaded to Dropbox for later use. This is a convenient and efficient means of organizing all your social media accounts.
Even though IFTTT has different functions, the app still offers excellent business solutions for those that know what keywords and topics they’re looking to closely track.
Marketing and business professionals can tailor IFTTT so that they receive updates on whatever social media platform they wish when there is a relevant notification on another social media account of theirs. Users can also create recipes to track social mentions in a Google Doc or spreadsheet. This is useful if you’re trying to find evangelists, or loyal customers to engage with in your business. This makes convenient for people who prefer to use certain apps, whether it’s Evernote or Dropbox, as opposed to the mediums offered in the other social media monitoring sites.
Putting Google Alerts Alternatives to Use
It’s important to understand whereas an @ mention will notify you via an app or a site like Twitter or Facebook, a # mention will not unless you search for it. Depending on the level of each service, you can add in more notifications to include things like # for monitoring a certain # like for a campaign or contest.
These tools are best for businesses with unique names because non unique names will pull mentions that don’t apply to the business.
Although Google Alerts has its shortcomings, it is still a great tool that you and your business should consider using. However, there are always more opportunities to extend your network, which is where these other platforms come in. Try one of these alternatives to Google Alerts and see how you do. From there, evaluate your business and social media goals and decide which tools are the best fit.